The average cannabis consumer may not realize it, but many of the world’s award-winning series of sativa strains originated on African soils. This should really come as no surprise if you stop and think about it. Southern Africa has the perfect weather conditions for cultivating some potent cannabis plants. Although cannabis seeds were first cultivated in Central Asia, the intervening centuries have given African landrace strains plenty of time to rest and develop.
What Are African Landrace Strains?
Generally named for the location where they were first developed, African landrace strains are part of Africa that gave birth to modern strains, hybrids, and a future generation. In many cases, they’ve been around for centuries and are perfectly suited to local growing conditions around the world. They originated in wild areas and were cultivated in outdoor gardens well before it even occurred to people that cannabis could be grown indoors.
Back in the early days of cannabis cultivation, landrace strains contained low levels of THC concentrations. Farmers and growers have been cultivating them for centuries ever since. They’ve been on the search for beneficial cannabis genetics so that every generation of these old-school marijuana strains progressively becomes stronger. Today, it’s still common for plant breeders to turn to landrace cannabis strains when they want to improve genetic viability or impart specific qualities to new plants.
General Characteristics of African Landrace Cannabis
All cannabis aficionados know that there are two primary sub-categories of marijuana: sativa and indica. A quick search query confirms that most strains from South Africa are, in fact, sativas. That’s because the South African climate is ideal for growing these hardened strains.
African sativa landrace strains grow tall and produce prolifically. They have a longer flowering time than typical indica strains, which most growers in Africa can easily accommodate. Even if they are unable to harvest their crops until late October or early November, the weather will still be warm enough to support the final stages of the cannabis plants’ growth. At harvest, the plants are replete with resinous buds.
When it comes to effects, pure sativa plants offer a more uplifting high than indicas and most hybrids. African sativa strains tend to produce a more cerebral high. They have high THC concentrations and varying CBD levels. This makes south African cannabis popular among both recreational consumers and medical patients across the world.
Most Popular Strains from South Africa
Some of the world’s most well-known cannabis landrace strains come from South Africa. A lot of today’s most popular hybrids also contain some part of its original genetics pointing back to these prehistoric landrace cannabis strains. If you’re looking to choose just one landrace strain such as Hindu Kush? You should investigate each of the most popular brands or look for the vendor’s email address and send them a message verifying the business and its buds authenticity backed by lab testing reports.
Also known as Nguni, Swazi Gold is a landrace strain from South Africa. It is known for its dense buds, sweet mango aroma, high THC levels, and well-balanced cannabinoid profile. Recreational weed smokers love it for its potency and consider this strain to be a superior plant for a wide range of health problems. Medical patients often use this product to help manage psychological conditions such as:
- Attention deficit disorders
Some experts in Latin America believe that the history of Swazi Gold dates all the way back to 25,000 BC when this landrace cannabis strain was still growing wild much like its cousin, Durban Poison. Since its popularisation in the 1940s, the strain has spread off of the African continent and its seeds are now available to growers across the world.
Durban Poison is named for the port city of Durban. Its origins date back to the 14th century when indigenous tribes brought this wild strain under cultivation. It’s a pure sativa that boasts a strong, stimulating, and uplifting high. Durban is also known for genetics that come with problem solving properties as well as being a cannabis strain for appetite suppression. This is also a power plant and a rich part of the Congolese who were one of the first tribes to take its seeds and grow landrace sativa plants.
Much like other sativa strains, it grows tall and produces tons of resiny buds. Those who want to grow Durban Poison abroad can buy seeds online from seed banks. Outdoor growers should note: however, that they’ll need a long growing season and plenty of sun since this sativa strain developed near the equator. If you want to grow it indoors, you may have to use advanced pruning techniques like topping or setting up a screen of green to control its height.
If you’re a lover of recreational weed, you’ll discover that Durban Poison has a perfect cannabinoid and terpene profile for inducing creativity. That’s because it has high THC levels, low levels of CBD, and a uniquely delicious, fruity flavor. Durban Poison makes a fantastic addition to any cannabis lover’s personal stashbox.
Sometimes referred to simply as “Malawi,” this pure sativa strain originated in the Salima region. Known for its resinous buds and highly psychoactive effects, Malawi Gold is growing in popularity among cannabis connoisseurs. It’s still not as popular as its landrace cousin Swazi Gold, but that’s beginning to change as more international growers are getting their hands on these viable seeds.
The plants grow to a medium size and sport dark, thin-fingered green leaves. Like other sativas, it requires a full growing season and plenty of sun. At the end of the season, expect to harvest enormous buds perfect for both smoking and crafting value-added cannabis products. The buds can reach up to two feet in length and tend to be dense with few leaves. If grown under ideal conditions, the THC level can exceed 27%.
Malawi Gold is a relatively rare strain in most parts of the world. If you can get your hands on it, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. If you like sativas, you’ll love its spicy, earthy aroma and its energetic, uplifting effects. Just don’t get it confused for its equally rare and fellow mate landrace strain, Angola Gold.
Kwazulu is a South African sativa strain that originally grew wild on the slopes of the Drakensberg ridge. It’s still relatively rare outside of South Africa, but medical patients are increasingly switching over to this strain when they can find it. It’s perfect for managing diverse physical and mental conditions thanks to its balanced cannabinoid profile.
This strain can be grown either indoors or outdoors, even in desert mountains. When grown indoors, it boasts a flowering time of just eight weeks. In outdoor gardens, you can expect to harvest it some time in October. Either way, it yields robust bounties under the right growing conditions.
Kwazulu has a storied history tied to the Shaka Zulu warrior tribe. According to one local story, the tribe’s warriors used this power plant to prepare for battle during the first attack by British colonists in 1879. A combination of the Zulu’s strong warrior culture and the galvanizing properties of this plant allowed the tribe to repel the enemy invaders despite being outnumbered. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, physically energizing high that helps you fight off fatigue, you’ll love this strain.
Moroccan Gold, sometimes referred to simply as Moroccan, has its origins in the Rif mountains. Unlike most African landrace strains, it’s a potent indica. This strain is perfect for kicking back and relaxing and can be used to help manage insomnia and other sleep disorders. Medical marijuana patients also use it for conditions such as:
- Chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle cramps
- Chronic stress
If you’re a recreational user, Moroccan gold may not be the strain for you. It only has an average THC level of between 10 and 15 percent. What it misses in potency it makes up for in taste. The plant’s buds boast a sweet, spicy flavour with rich, earthy overtones. The buds are also resiny and blanketed with white trichomes.
Since it’s an indica, Moroccan is more forgiving when it comes to climate. It tends to grow shorter and bushier and has a shorter flowering time than a sativa landrace. This strain from Northern Africa has more in common with more popular indica strains like Hindu Kush from the Middle East than South African cannabis strains when it comes to growing conditions. That makes geographical location less of a problem for international growers.
Originally cultivated in the Kilimanjaro mountains in Tanzania and used in religious ceremonies, this strain packs a serious punch. It’s sometimes referred to as Elephant Stomper (all rights reserved) because it’s purported to give you enough energy to take on stampeding elephants. Kilimanjaro’s stimulating effects can even become psychedelic when you take it in high doses.
Kilimanjaro is related to several better-known modern strains, including Aloha White Widow, Purple Elephant, and Grape Stomper. It’s not just one of the more psychedelic marijuana strains around, but also one of the most potent thanks to its high THC-to-CBD ratio.
It’s rare to see Kilimanjaro grown or bred outside of Africa, although the strain is becoming popular in Amsterdam. It’s a good choice for both recreational weed smokers and medical marijuana patients despite its unimpressive CBD profile. It can be helpful with mood disorders and is good for alleviating muscle pain and spasms. Plus, its stimulating effects offer a level of mental clarity difficult to find in other African landraces.
Also known as Swazi Red, this high-yielding African cannabis strain originated in Eswatini, a region of South Africa formerly known as Swaziland. It’s often confused with Red Congolese by international marijuana enthusiasts, but the two strains have little in common beyond their names and the fact that they are both African landrace strains.
This is a potent landrace strain that grows large, dense buds. It provides a well-balanced, long-lasting high that’s perfect for serious recreational users. Most medical patients moderate their intake to mitigate the strain’s impressive strength.
How to Find Landrace Strains from South Africa
Some of the landrace cannabis strains listed above are easier to track down than others. If you’re looking for a particular landrace strain from Africa, you’ll need to find a reputable cannabis seeds vendor. It’s easiest for international buyers to purchase obscure landrace cannabis strains online. Even if you live in a location where marijuana is illegal, it’s generally fine to purchase seeds as “adult novelty goods.”
Lastly, make sure to find information about the vendor before placing an order. You can take a look at the vendor’s website, check out responses from previous customers, and see what varieties of sativa landrace marijuana strains they carry. Some vendors focus specifically on Africa, while others also sell landrace strains from Latin America, Asia, and other places. However, here at Swazi Gold, we sell and ship seeds worldwide for anyone who wants to grow smoke the Sativa King.